Police are investigating a so-called ‘Muslim Patrol’ in London who have been harassing men for looking ‘gay’.
In video footage posted on YouTube from the weekend (19-20 January), it shows a group calling a passerby a ‘bloody fag’.
‘Hello mate, don’t you know this is a Muslim area?’ asks a male member. ‘Why you dressed like that for?’
When asked why they were bothering him, the group says: ‘Cause you’re walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag! You need to get out of here!’
From the clip, it appears to be the work of a small group of young men, some of whom can be heard laughing at their victims.
Thought to be filmed in Shoreditch, East London, the video is prefaced by a logo saying ‘Islam will take over the world.’
Speaking to Gay Star News, a Metropolitan police spokesman said they had increased police presence in reported areas and were working with local mosques.
‘We have also been speaking to local community leaders, influential people, businesses and the local authority about the issue and what is being done, and can be done, to address it.’
Other videos, which also include the group yelling at women and people drinking alcohol, have also been strongly condemned by Muslim and gay rights activists.
East London Mosque said the men’s behavior was ‘utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord.’
‘The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor in our streets.’
They added: ‘We will monitor the situation closely and our Imams will be speaking out against such actions.’
Leading gay Muslim campaigner Omar Kuddus told GSN he was ‘appalled’ such behavior exists and is done in the name of his religion.
‘We live in a multicultural and faith society and such behavior cannot and should not be tolerated,’ he said.
‘Though they are entitled to their opinion their actions mount to that of criminal behavior, I am appalled that they are using Islam for their justification.’
The area concerned, the London borough of Tower Hamlets, hit the headlines in 2011 when anti-gay stickers appeared. These were also condemned by Muslim groups.
Police are appealing for anyone with further information to contact them on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
While several of the videos have already been taken down due to YouTube’s terms and conditions, the clip below has been flagged as ‘potentially offensive or inappropriate.’